Oklahoma City Air Ambulance and Medical Transport Injury Lawyers
Handling accident claims involving ambulances, medevacs and other medical transport vehicles throughout the state
Medical transportation services transfer critically injured, ill or disabled patients from one location to another. They offer specialized care en route to the emergency room, or the critical care unit of a health care facility. Ambulances, whether on the ground or in the air, can have accidents just as any other type of vehicle can. Whether the accident is caused by a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object, while loading or unloading the patient, or any error or carelessness on the part of the transport staff, an ambulance-related injury is not treated like a typical motor vehicle crash.
The Oklahoma City ambulance injury attorneys at the law firm of Cunningham & Mears are here to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf, and we take on the legal challenge so that you can focus on your health and every other aspect of your life. Our firm is committed to helping you maximize recovery, and we have the results to prove it. You are welcome to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a skilled Oklahoma personal injury attorney today.
Different types of medical transport options
There are a host of different types of medical transportation vehicles, which are used according to the patient’s needs, including:
- Local ambulance. A local, ground ambulance, which is staffed by emergency medical technicians or paramedics, is used to transport patients to hospitals after an accident.
- Non-emergency local ambulance. Non-emergency ambulance service is used to transport patients who may be injured or too ill to travel to receive medical care on their own.
- Emergency air ambulance. This mode of emergency medical transportation uses helicopters or small airplanes to transport critically injured patients when there is a need to cover a lot of ground quickly to get to a trauma center or other health care facility for someone who is experiencing a medical emergency.
- Non-emergency air ambulance. Designed to provide non-emergency medical transportation for patients who are unable to travel using conventional air transportation. Elderly travelers and those with disabilities or serious health conditions can avail themselves of high-quality patient care as they travel.
Oklahoma City medical transportation services
The following are just a few examples of the emergency and non-emergency, ground and air ambulance services available in Oklahoma:
- Integris Air Medical Transport Helicopters
- Trinity Air Ambulance International
- Air Care1
- Castle MedFlight
- Air Ambulance1
- Angel MedFlight Air Ambulance
- Sooner Medical Transport
- ACC MedLink
- Guardian EMS
- Unity EMS
- Legacy Medical Transport, LLC
Types and causes of medical transportation injuries
There are several factors which can contribute to a medical transport accident injury including:
- Collision with another motor vehicle or object
- Helicopter crash
- Failure to respond to turbulence
- Failure to secure medical supplies safely in the transport vehicle
- Failure to review weather reports, and take wind, rain, hail, or other weather into account
- Failure to secure the wheelchair
- Negligence in transferring a patient into and out of the wheelchair or stretcher
- Leaving the patient in unsafe conditions
- Negligence in loading the stretcher
- Inadequate driver or attendee training
- Negligent operation of the vehicle
Overbilling for air ambulances and ground transport
The life-saving services of an air ambulance service can be expensive, and health insurance policies often only pay a portion of the cost, which can run from $20,000 to half a million dollars or more, depending on the distance and the kind of medical support needed by the patient. Consumer Reports tells the story of a young girl who was burned in an accident in her backyard. The 40-mile trip to the hospital in an air ambulance to treat her burns cost the family $24,000, because it was out-of-network for their insurance company, which paid just $5,700 of the costs. The family was left with the remaining $18,300 payment.
This is not a one-off example, either. CNN reports “A 2017 federal investigation found that costs for an average air ambulance flight doubled between 2010 and 2014.” Why are the rates so high? Because air ambulance travel is not regulated under the Affordable Care Act. “Instead, they fall under the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, which removed a state’s ability to control airfares and routes long before air ambulances were common.”
The Air Ambulance Consumer Protection Act, which would protect consumers of air ambulance services has passed through Congress and is now awaiting President Trump’s signature. The bill would allow states to regulate costs for air ambulance services and bring improved transparency to the air ambulance industry according to EMS1.com.
Medicare and Medicaid do pay a portion of an air ambulance ride which is medically necessary. Some health insurance providers cover a portion of the bill as do some travel insurance policies. Depending on where you live, you may have to get prior approval for a ride.
Cunningham & Mears has been successful in getting these bills reduced for our clients. We have worked with clients who never should have been air-lifted in the first place, because ground transport would have sufficed, as well as those who were in critical condition and needed to be transferred via air ambulance.
We have also worked with clients who were overbilled by ground transport services. Under normal circumstances, you are only billed for an ambulance ride – not for an ambulance showing up to the scene of an accident. However, an ambulance ride should be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or most private policies if the transfer is deemed “medically necessary.” If an ambulance company attempts to claim that your trip was not medically necessary, or attempts to bill you for services it did not provide (or forced you to take), we can help with that, too.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Oklahoma City
If you have been injured in an air ambulance accident, or any other form of medical transport accident, the personal injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears are dedicated to working for you. We can also represent you in a billing dispute for air ambulance services. We are located across the street from the courthouse in downtown Oklahoma City and we offer free valet parking. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us or call 405-232-1212 any time to schedule a free consultation. Live assistance is always available to you when you call.